A review of the Fire's remaining 14 matches reveals an even seven games at home and seven on the road. Six of the remaining matches are winnable games against the league's bottom dwellers while only three remain against the top tier teams.
A bare minimum of ten wins is usually required to qualify for the MLS playoffs but due to the strength of the Western Conference this year more than that will be required to get in. Last season Real Salt Lake needed 11 wins and 40 total points to qualify on the last weekend of the campaign. While the Fire currently sit on 21 points they are five points behind the side currently holding the eighth and final spot. Toronto FC is positioned in third place in the Eastern Conference but the Fire have played two less matches.
I've taken the liberty of dusting off the crystal ball to take a stab at predicting the results of the remaining fourteen matches. Granted, alot can change between now and October but as a result of Frank Klopas' recent wheeling and dealing Chicago has the talent on the roster to make a move.
8/18 Revolution - (win) Despite losing to them at home in SuperLiga the Fire are a better side.
8/21 at Houston (tie) Dynamo are in the midst of a terrible run of form but they're tough in the Texas heat.
8/28 at Seattle (loss) Seattle is rounding into form but they play a Champions League match against Monterrey only three days prior to this game, so the Fire has a shot.
9/4 Galaxy (tie) Another star studded DP battle that should see all the big guns on the field at one time. Question is, will LA have a third by this match?
9/8 Toronto (win) TFC is great at home and usually horrid offensively on the road.
9/11 at Union (win) Nowak's side is getting better but still losing.
9/18 at Real Salt Lake (loss) Penalty kicks won't be needed. Just kidding...gotta favor the champs at home but they will also be heavy into Champions League action at this point.
9/25 Seattle (win) The return match in the Ljungberg Cup should see the home side win.
9/29 at Earthquakes (win) San Jose left Toyota Park with a result earlier this season but rookie center back Ike Opara is out with an injury.
10/2 at FC Dallas (loss) Unfortunately the Brimstone Cup stays in Texas....again.
10/8 Crew (tie) Alot will depend on C-Bus fixture congestion and health. Rogers, Marshall, and Padula are currently experiencing knee issues. Rogers has gone under the knife.
10/12 Wizards (win) Fire blew a 2-0 lead at home against them last season. No excuse for not earning three points this year.
10/16 DC (win) United has been terrible and their season will be long over by this time.
10/23 at Chivas (tie) The goats are 5-10-3 right now but massive roster changes are underway. This could easily be a win.
Assuming the results shake out as predicted by the Fire Confidential crystal ball, the Fire will finish the final fourteen matches with a 7-3-4 record. That would put them at 12-8-10 and 46 points on the year. Historically this has been enough to punch a ticket to the MLS playoffs. Every point from here on out is vitally important (particularly in home matches) due to the strength out west and the Fire has to start by beating the Revolution next week.